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Steve Reich’s New CD Cover: Is It An Outrage or Not?

Last night a small thread emerged on Facebook about the cover for Steve Reich's new CD on Nonesuch Records. The cover is a graphic photo of 9/11, due to the fact the recording features Reich's work WTC 9/11. What do you think? An outrage of something else?? Quickly, the FB consensus is that it is "repulsive." Me, I am not so sure about that. I felt very strongly that in the months and years after 9/11, an industry emerged around it. It was to be found on refrigerator magnets, T-shirts, and all sorts of tschotske. Even worse, were the … [Read more...]

Programs for the Untalented and UnGifted

Many, many times, I have been part of formal conversations that made their way around to the question of how we are identifying and supporting the talented and gifted children in the school systems. My response to the question in its many variations has been unwavering: all children are talented. Are all children gifted? Well, define gifted, and for that matter define talented. The definitions are arbitrary and often are less about talent and gift, and more about class and the motivation level of parents. Let's think a moment about the … [Read more...]

Saluting Sarah Cunningham as She Departs the NEA

Okay, I've been pretty quiet over the past few weeks. Many have interpreted this to reflect a winding down of Dewey21C as a result of my departure from The Center for Arts Education at the end of this month. Well, that's not the case. There will be no winding down. I am going to continue Dewey21C and expand its focus to life-long learning, including of course, K-12 and higher education. So, why have I been so quiet lately, even missing the three-year anniversary of Dewey21C? Well, there's the transition from CAE to Mannes College The … [Read more...]

Arts + Education = Butts in the Seats = ?!?

Advocate: It is essential that students experience Shakespeare. School Leader: I never really liked Shakespeare. Anne Midgette is always a good read. First, she's a cracker jack writer. Second, she isn't shy about her opinions. Third, you should hear her talk about food!! When she was writing for The New York Times, she had more than a few very pissed off performers complaining about her tough customer reviews.It was an extremely entertaining time for arts journalism in New York City. Anne posted a particularly interesting piece … [Read more...]

Is A Liberal Arts Education Dead Meat?

There are a lot of folks who are taking aim at the liberal arts. Lately, there's been quite a lot of attention paid to a recent speech by Bill Gates at the National Governors Association, where he questioned funding liberal arts programs because the area did not produce enough jobs.For me, this is just a stone's throw form the sort of thinking that relegates the arts to the periphery for many K-12 students.It's always a relief to see a more broad-based viewpoint emerge, in this case stemming from  a bipartisan call from members of the US … [Read more...]

Two New Key Resources for Arts Education

In the past month two new resources have been issued that are worth a good look: The National Guild for Community Arts Education has released a sorely needed guide for youth development programs: Engaging Adolescents: Building Youth Participation in the Arts. Engaging Adolescents: Building Youth Participation in the Arts, the result of the National Guild's research on effective practices, outlines a holistic approach that integrates arts learning with principles of youth development. It is designed to help staff and faculty develop new … [Read more...]

The Mannes College The New School for Music Appoints New Dean

Today, The New School announced the appointment of three deans, including deans for The Mannes College The New School for Music and The New School for Drama.Click here to read the full release.NEW YORK (June 15, 2011)--The New School today announced the appointment of Stephanie Browner as dean of Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts; Richard Kessler as dean of Mannes College The New School for Music; and Pippin Parker, director of The New School for Drama. The New School is comprised of seven distinct … [Read more...]

Register for Grantmakers in Arts Webinar on The Common Core Standards

Arts Education: Common Core What Are the Possibilities for the Arts? Tuesday, June 21, 2:00 EDT/ 11:00 PDT Julie Fry, Program Officer, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Richard Kessler, Executive Director, The Center for Arts Education More than two-thirds of the states have adopted the Common Core Standards in English language arts, and math, establishing clear guidelines for what students need to know and be able to do in order to graduate from high school prepared for college and/or a career. Now that leaders are beginning to ask for … [Read more...]

A Pretty Good Primer on Arts Education Advocacy

GothamSchools is a sort of Artsjournal for education issues. Historically, it has been focused on New York City, but has expanded its coverage in the past couple of years.GS published a through report on yesterday's press conference, protest, and report release concerning proposed budget cuts that will lead to a reduction in certified arts teachers of 20 percent over two years. The report goes further to look at some policy and advocacy issues over the past four years.I think it's a good read, and while it clearly wasn't intended to be a primer … [Read more...]

Arts Education in New York City Schools: Doing More with Much Less????

From today's City Room, by Anna Phillips: Even Before Layoffs, Schools Lost 135 Arts TeachersAnd, before that, there was successive years of steep declines in funding for arts supplies and cultural partnerships.New York City spends $2 per student on arts supplies. I know suburban districts on Long Island and Westchester that spend about $18. Click here to read the report.Reading and math teachers are expected to be cut at a much lower rate. … [Read more...]

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